DOMS is pretty common when you do CrossFit and it can be a real pain (ha!). The day after your workout you’re thinking “meh, a little sore in the shoulders but no big; I’m a total badass!” The second day after your workout you wake up to screaming muscles and wonder if you’ll be able to wear a bra today since your arms don’t go above your belly button.

One of the methods recommended to prevent or lessen the effect of DOMS is a contrast shower, aka water torture. The normal way to do a contrast shower: gradually turn water to coldest temperature comfortable and stand in it for 1min, then gradually turn it up to hottest temp comfortable for 3min; repeat for 3-5 cycles. But this is apparently too blasé for some people, or maybe I just misunderstood the words “as cold as you can stand” to mean “colder is better so don’t be a bitch.” So I tried it once, going as hot as I could tolerate and as cold as it could go. Because obviously cold isn’t going to hurt you the way hot does, right? WRONG. The cold was so cold that I was literally whimpering like a puppy as I forced myself to stand under the streaming water. My dog, who always follows me into the bathroom, cocked his head to one side and seemed to be wondering if intervention was necessary. It was so cold that it hurt.

Did it work? I think it might have helped a little but since I only made it through one cycle I wasn’t expecting much. Will I try a contrast shower again? Probably, but definitely the less extreme method.

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